By Bill Shaikin
5:19 PM PST, January 1, 2014
The Angels fortified their pitching depth Wednesday by agreeing to terms on a minor league contract with left-hander Mark Mulder.
Mulder, 36, has not won a major league game since 2006. He retired in 2009, after two shoulder operations, and decided this off-season to pursue a comeback.
The agent for Mulder, Brian Charles of Big League Management Co., said the deal included an invitation to spring training.
"One of the reasons he went with the Angels was the opportunity to compete for a spot in the starting rotation," Charles said.
An Angels spokesman declined to confirm the deal. If Mulder makes the team -- and if he reaches incentive and award bonuses -- the value of the deal could exceed $6 million.
If he does not make the team, Charles said, Mulder would be willing to consider opening the season in the minor leagues.
The Angels remain very interested in Japanese ace Masahiro Tanaka. For now, their rotation consists of Jered Weaver, C.J. Wilson, Garrett Richards, Tyler Skaggs and Hector Santiago. However, Skaggs could be sent to the minor leagues, and the Angels have noted Santiago's ability to pitch as a swingman.
The Angels also have starting pitching depth in Joe Blanton, deposed from the rotation last season, and former major leaguer Wade LeBlanc, who is expected to start at triple-A Salt Lake.
Mulder, the second overall pick in the 1998 draft, was a two-time All-Star and Cy Young runner-up during five years with the Oakland Athletics. In his last major league victory, on June 15, 2006, the opposing center fielders were Jim Edmonds and Jose Bautista.
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